February 20, 2012 8:39 AM
With Cam Ward likely unable to play Monday’s home game against Washington, the Carolina Hurricanes have recalled goalie Mike Murphy from Charlotte.
The recall reunites the Checkers’ starting goalie tandem of Murphy and Justin Peters, the latter of whom is expected to get the start against the Capitals. The two last appeared on the same roster just prior to Murphy’s first career NHL recall on Dec. 6, when Hurricanes backup Brian Boucher suffered a lower-body injury from which he has not yet recovered.
There was no timetable on Ward’s injury as of Monday morning. Boucher is expected to resume practicing with the team in the near future.
Murphy has not suited up for a game at any level since suffering an injury of his own during pregame warm-ups in Norfolk on Jan. 24. He returned to practice just last week but did not accompany the Checkers on their three-game weekend road trip to Peoria and Chicago.
At least for now, Murphy’s recall will not present a change to the goaltending situation in Charlotte. Should Murphy remain in the NHL for the rest of the week, John Muse, who started all three games over the weekend, will remain the No. 1 option for the upcoming back-to-back set against Oklahoma City beginning Friday. Recent backup Dave Caruso, who the Checkers have already released from his most recent tryout contract, could return for a third stint or the team could find yet another option from the lower leagues.
Peters, who in November won the AHL’s Goaltender of the Month award just prior to joining Carolina on Dec. 14., is set to make his fourth NHL start of the season and second in his last three games. He also entered Saturday’s game at the New York Islanders in relief of Ward, who was unable to return for the third period of an eventual 4-3 loss.
In his Friday start against San Jose, Peters made 35 saves to become the first Hurricanes goalie other than Ward to record a win since Jan. 9, 2011 – the date of Peters’ last victory. In four appearances this season, he is 1-3-0 with a goals-against average of 3.65 and a save percentage of .911.
After stopping all nine shots that came his way during to separate relief appearances, Murphy’s NHL ratios are still perfect, although his record officially stands at 0-1-0 due to an historic technicality that occurred in his Dec. 6 debut in Calgary. After a late run of goals saw a Flames’ empty-net tally stand as the game-winning goal, Murphy, who was the goaltender of record at the time, became the first player in NHL history to record his first loss prior to allowing his first goal.